Good Wednesday morning. Situational awareness: Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) tells CNN that President Trump told the young widow of a U.S. serviceman killed in Niger, "basically," that "he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt." The body of Sgt. La David Johnson was returned to the Miami area yesterday. The Miami Herald says the congresswoman "heard the call [to his widow] on speakerphone in the car."
I wrote yesterday about President Trump's war with the truth, after a stunning string of false statements during double-header press avails. But his war with his own Cabinet, over his own ideas, is equally stunning.
It's a feature, not a bug, of this White House for Trump to say one thing about policy, and for his Cabinet or hand-picked officials to say or do the exact opposite:
Why this matters: This dynamic — like the spreading of fake news or false statements — makes it hard for the media, Republicans and his Cabinet to determine when to take the leader of the free world seriously.
The short-term health care deal announced yesterday by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would leave millions of people better off, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes: It includes policies that experts across the ideological spectrum say will help stabilize the marketplaces.
You're invited ... Senate Health Chairman Lamar Alexander joins Axios onstage this morning for a conversation about next steps in health care, along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Trump's nominee to be drug czar, withdrew yesterday following the joint WashPost/"60 Minutes" investigation revealing his role in legislation that weakened the DEA's authority to control rogue distribution of opioids.
That's a big triumph for the journalists, but here's a few things you may have missed:
Be smart: The Post and "60 Minutes" had the goods — middlemen shipping millions of pills to remote clinics. Astonishing to think Republicans and Democrats alike with no fanfare, and minimal scrutiny, enacted a law to make it easier for those middlemen to turn so many people into addicts.
China President Xi Jinping (center) presides over the opening ceremony of the 19th Party Congress, at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing.
"George Soros, who built one of the world's largest fortunes through a famous series of trades, has turned over nearly $18 billion to Open Society Foundations," the Wall Street Journal reports on the front page:
"U.S.-backed forces said they have captured Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa, driving the extremists from a Syrian city that became synonymous with their reign of terror and was used as a nerve center to stage attacks on the West." (WSJ)
"The Trump administration is planning an increase in federal immigration jails across the country for the thousands of additional undocumented immigrants its agents are arresting," USA Today's Alan Gomez reports in the paper's banner story:
"Weinstein Fallout Moves to Halls of California's Capitol: In Sacramento, Fury Over Pervasive Harassment," by N.Y. Times' Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Medina, on A1:
Cities' bids are due tomorrow for the "HQ2" that Amazon plans to supplement its Seattle headquarters, with the prospect of $5 billion in investments and 50,000 jobs. Mayors from Toledo to Tulsa are brandishing bourbon, selling the sun — and making expensive promises that are uncertain to pay off.
Forbes releases its list of the 400 richest Americans ... The minimum net worth hit a record high of $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2015 and 2016 ... 169 billionaires who did not make the cut ... Average net worth of a Forbes 400 member hit $6.7 billion, also a record high, up from $6 billion last year.
The biggest gainer (in dollar terms) from last year is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg
The most notable loser was President Trump, whose fortune fell $600 million to $3.1 billion: "A tough New York real estate market, particularly for retail locations; a costly lawsuit and an expensive presidential campaign all contributed to the declining fortune." The top 10:
Teens overwhelming prefer Snapchat to any other social media platform, according to Piper Jaffray's 34th semi-annual survey of teens: